How to Use Up All Your Christmas Leftovers

What's almost better than Christmas dinner?  The leftovers!  Christmas, especially Boxing Day in the UK and Commonwealth, is one of the few times of the year that everyone looks forward to leftovers.  And there are tons of creative ways to use up traditional Christmas foods, from muffins to curry (remember Bridget Jones?)

OK, so you can certainly go down the route of cold cuts / nut roast and salad or vegetables on Boxing Day or during Christmas week, but make sure to pair it with some great chutneys.  There's still time to make your own so try these three delicious pickle recipes:

And what to do with everything else?  There's the curry option or risotto of course, but what else?

Wraps and Sandwiches

Almost anything is good in a wrap or sandwich made with good quality bread.  You can add different extras like lettuce, shredded cabbage, pickles, sun dried tomatoes, seaweed and more.  Get creative.

Go out of your comfort zone and choose an entirely different country.  You can use cooked sweet potatoes and other roasted veggies to make vegan sushi rolls, or put it all inside some lettuce leaves and crunch away.

You've been eating the supermarket version for weeks, so why not make an old-fashioned Christmas sandwich.  Try nut roast or stuffing, cranberry sauce and veggies on sour dough.  It’s going to be delicious and will make any leftovers go super-fast.  Try toasting the bread first to make it handle more fillings and give you that satisfying crunch.

Or you could put it in a pitta or a panini.  Any leftover creamy cheese like Brie with a dollop of cranberry sauce works well.  Try this recipe (just leave out the meat if you're veggie) or try Jamie Oliver's Boxing Day quesadillas.  This traditional Cypriot wrap will use up thee salad drawer and give you a nice break from all that heavy food.

Quiche is another great way to use leftovers easily and deliciously, we love this tart that uses cooked vegetables or try potato and stuffing hash for brunch.

Soup and Casseroles

Combine everything to make a delicious soup.  Just put it all in the pot, add some broth, and it'll be done as soon as it's all hot since the ingredients were already cooked.  It’s a fast way to enjoy soup and easy if you think about the flavours and ingredients you have and what might work together.

This root vegetable soup recipe is a great way to use up any veggies you have left that were'nt roasted.  Or use up the chestnuts you forgot about in this chestnut, carrot and lentils soup that can be made in a soup maker or on the stove top.  Or combine your leftovers in different ways to make a casserole.


Pretty much anything can go on top of a pizza.  Yes, even leftovers.  Think outside the box. Putting anything on crust tastes delicious.  You don’t even need to add cheese if you don’t want to, but if you do get creative on the type of cheese you use.  For example, goat's cheese or whatever you have left on your cheeseboard.

More ideas to use up cheese:

Luxury Macaroni Cheese
Savoury Watercress Scones with Goat's Cheese Mousse
Classic Cauliflower Cheese
Savoury Puff Pastry Bites (uses smoked Cheddar)
Baked Potato Skins with Brie and Truffle

Ways to Use Up Sprouts

Brussels sprouts may not be everyone's Christmas favourite, so if you have some left oevr try one of these recipes to use them up:

Sprout Remoulade
Cranberry, Sprout and Pecan Pilaff
Toasted Sesame Sprouts

Ways to Use Up Red Cabbage

If you're anything like us you only use half of a red cabbage, so here's what to do with the rest of it:

Pickled Red Cabbage with Apples and Walnuts
Red Cabbage and Orange Salad

Ways to Use Up Cranberry Sauce

Only used a spoonful or two of your cranberry sauce and wondering what to do with the rest?  Try these recipes:

Cranberry and Orange Muffins
Cranberry Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding

Ways to Use Up Christmas Pudding

Whether your family are fans of Christmas pudding or not, we all feel obliged to buy or even make one.  (This last minute vegan Christmas pudding recipe is great if you are making.)  If you have Christmas pudding left, use it up in these recipes, some of which sound more delicious than traditional Christmas pudding itself!

Christmas Pudding Crumble
Christmas Pudding Trifle
Christmas Pudding Scones
Spiced Orange Cake with Christmas Pudding Ice Cream
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cheesecake

Ways to Use Up Mincemeat

In my book we can justify eating mince pies well into January, so our easy mince pies recipe should be your first port of call but if you do have leftover mincemeat try this delicious Christmas Apple and Mincemeat Crumble.

Using leftovers up is a great way to stretch your budget and saves us throwing away all that perfectly good food.  If you go into planning your Christmas dinner knowing exactly what you could do with the leftovers, you'll know that you are going to use every ounce of ingredients left.

More ideas:

The 10 Best Christmas Leftovers Recipes
Christmas Leftover Recipes

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